A group of 4. Bikepack out to Tonto on some cross bikes for some celebration.
Happy New Year!
Black Canyon Trail from Hwy 69 to Maricopa Trail to Cave Creek Park.
An overnight bikepacking excursion like no other. Karen and Tegan were kind enough to break out of the house early the day after Thanksgiving to drive me to Mayer, AZ and drop me off.
I was on the trail at about 8.
from my camp to New River Road was some of the most entertaining trail. There was a demanding climb just S. of Table Mesa, but once down that and on it was sublime.
from this point I took the MT on to Cave Creek Park after a break for a sandwich and beer in Anthem. At the park, I decided to call in for a ride back to home. It was a great solo ride and I will certainly be doing that again soon while the temps are cool.
AKA the “Tin Foil Hat Tour”
Sedona to Verde Hot Springs. A few of us got together for some riding and hot springs. Only one thing was required of everyone who was going. A Tin Foil Hat.
I brought and wore mine.
It was comfortable.
We started out by fueling for the fire.
In the morning, we set out on our mission. Some sweet red rock riding.
After the trails and a break, we hit the road. I thought it was a group ride thing, but the others has other ideas when the peloton formed without me.
back on the dirt, things got serious.
made it to the hot springs. Great day on the bike. ThirtyTwoTwenty!
I stayed in the nice warm water and conversed about tinfoil hats for about 3 hours after the ride. The next morning I went back and spent some more time in the refreshing pool.
Nudity. Rednecks, college age kids, us, them, those guys over there – a pretty wide range of people.
So, the planned overnighter bikepack ride turned into a bikepack-SAG supported-Natural Hot Springs-Tin Foil Hat tour all in one.
I had a mind to go ride some AZT out by Flagstaff. I got snowed out of that plan.
A backup plan Sub 24 – Tonto was required. I packed up. Cloud cover and cool temps for the next 19 hours had me pretty stoked for a ride and a camp.
I started by riding over to Sunday Cycles to get some chamois cream. Nice guys hooked me up all gratis like with Miller Lite and a pack of the cream. Wearing DC socks apparently, besides being ultra swank, have additional priceless value. I wonder if I had worn the full kit what would have happened?.. at any rate, it was an awesome start for my yearly birthday ride event.
I hopped back on the Salsa and got to it.
I made an odd choice of taking Cave Creek Road most of the way to my destination. While it is most direct, it is not mostly quiet. That would change soon enough. My private reserve at the Tonto was getting near!
After refueling at the Circle K in Cave Creek for the camp out, I hit Spur Cross Road. Things turned to dirt. Things got quiet.
Road 48 (aka Spur Cross Road) goes into the Tonto Nat. Forest about 5 miles. It just kind of ends. An old F150 truck remains and some artsy pictographs from long ago litter the area. But that was not my destination. That takes to long to get to and the camping is sub-par.
I was a little worried after the 4th creek crossing. It seems the yellow flowers have overtaken the creek bed and sucked all the water out. It was nice to hang out in a creek of flowers for a bit. They do smell nice.
Not a soul around. Just me and the Sonoran Desert (and my bike..). Water was still flowing in some areas, but most other areas were surface dry.
I pressed on to the spot. The creek cuts into a nice little narrow canyon. Deep and cozy. Not a lot of places to camp. Most all the obvious spots are like day areas and have seldom used fire rings for the horsemen type among us. My spot is on a sand bar located after some bushwhacking and HAB near and under a large stand of cottonwood trees. Sweet.
Once I settled myself, I sparked up a fire. Not many places 27 miles or nearer to my house that I can build a legal open fire anywhere I want.
A decent sleep under the stars and cottonwoods.
Next morning, after anguishing my departure from the sleeping bag (I mean really, every-time I sleep in that thing..), I had my obligatory coffee and a celebratory brew.
Riding out of camp is quick. It’s all downhill!
you are here.
I was there. I put myself where I wanted to be and I was there. The sign told me so.
After numerous bikepacking events from my house that were usually out and backs, a rare 2-night loop presented itself to Yuri and myself.
Headed out of the house around 11 on a Friday and back to it at 9 on Sunday.
South from the house to the Russian Compound. Out to Tempe via canal and Papago Park. Swing by Daves Electric for some non-hops and over to a bush pusher for a round or two before heading up a hill to camp out.
Next morning, a drop down some local sweet, a quick review of pump track lines, a greenbelt ride, a nice singletrack in Paradise, some road riding, a picture of me at a bikeshop and some final miles to camp #2. My local favorite. Spur Cross/Tonto.
Out the next morning in a leisure manner. Once on the road, we pinned it at ‘go fast’ and I was greeted at home with some fresh coffee.
Truly, good stuff.
I spent yesterday afternoon rebuilding my eccentric. The thing just gets dirty and makes noise. I dislike that.
So I put the bike together and the Russian swung by to meet to go to wherever we were going. While riding we decided upon the Pima and Dynamite area to make our camp.
A great sub 24 overnighter in the desert. A sleeping bag would have been handy. It was super cold.